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New Deadly Coronavirus Could Be the Next SARS

Scientists have discovered a deadly new virus that has already infected 13 people and caused 7 fatalities. Now, they are scrambling to better understand the virus so that they can be better equipped to combat it.

The virus has not yet been named, but it has been identified as a coronavirus, which is the same class of virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Like SARS, the new virus causes a severe case of pneumonia. While the virus is related to the coronaviruses found in bats, scientists don’t believe the virus is making the jump from bats to people directly. Also, unlike SARS, they don’t believe that it can be transmitted from person-to-person through the air, instead needing more direct contact.

Studies are currently being conducted involving mice, ferrets and rhesus macaques, all of which are commonly used as stand-ins for people when it comes to infectious disease studies. The results have been limited at best, as while the virus infected the monkeys’ lungs, it didn’t appear to damage other body tissues.

I’ll be the first to say that I am adamantly against fearmongering. Yes, it is sad that seven people have died from this unknown virus, but that’s still a relatively small number and we shouldn’t be so quick as to call this the next SARS-like epidemic. At the same time, catching it early and better understanding the virus is clearly in our best interest. Further study is naturally warranted.




About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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  1. Dont support animal testing! I dont care how bad the virus is, humans have no right to torture animals. We SHARE this planet with them. It’s about time we learn that. Humans have no sympathy for the innocent animals killed for our own benifit.

  2. Er the virus has been named!
    Its DNA was first sequenced by scientists at St Mary’s Hospital (Imperial College London) after a wealthy arab was flown in for treatment. Presumably the Health Protection agency – the UK’s apology for FEMA – was not informed and given any say on whether he should
    be allowed in! No doubt the scientists were keen to be the first to name a new virus. They did indeed ‘sequence’ a sample from the poor chap but somehow the rival Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam got it named after them “hCoV-EMC(2012)’ It is a human coronavirus; SARS is a misnomer as it is a ‘syndrome’ or group of symptoms merely not a virus name! So
    confusion all round really…

    But hCoV-EMC does not exactly trip off the tongue so folk on the streets call it, er ‘Saudi SARS'; obvious really EXCEPT for the apparent reluctance of government departments and the media to call it that! Why should they persevere so long with clumsy names like ‘novel coronavirus’ (that one has to be temporary!) or dub it ‘this SARS-like virus’ rather than use the alliterative Saudi SARS?

    Could it be for fear of offending the powerful Saudi oil magnates? One’s mind goes back to 9/11 and the US government hurrying to fly Saudis out of the country to keep them safe – even while plenty of them were blatantly jubilant over what had occurred…

    Well to counter such ‘concerns’ let me tell you how this all started: the first case was a Saudi old man in May 2012 and an Egyptian vitologist working in Riyadh (capital of Saudi Arabia) bravely published his discovery of a new fatal virus on the internet – Promedmail on 21st
    Sept 2012 –he was promptly deported! Then the Qatari man who had visited Saudi Arabia flew to London and the cat was out of the bag. Nevertheless the Hajj pilgrimage went ahead in Oct 2012 – and 17 million pilgrims flew home afterwards across the globe perhaps taking with them a new deadly virus. A WHO team was sent out but no reports of their findings have surfaced. Many elderly pilgrims die of course and are buried within 24 hours as custom ictates.
    The only hint of anything out of the ordinary occurring were reports in the Egyptian Independent of a few dozen younger pilgrims – men all squeezed into poor accommodation – dying of a ‘respiratory illness’ and calling for masks – all since erased… So I am guessing that there are some in Saudi Arabia who have got it into their diminutive brains that Allah has given them a biological weapon with which to bring the West to its knees – and oil-rich countries with small populations will then be the most powerful on earth perhaps? So I hope the Norwegians and Canadians are getting ready to stand up to the Arabs in the new world order where they are the superpowers! But perhaps we could now start to call it Saudi SARS guys?

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